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  #1  
Old 06-28-2011, 07:37 PM
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Kilkenny Kilkenny is offline
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Why do you do it?

I've always been interested in the psychology of art, in part because I suspect, at times, that my art practice exercises some kind of neurosis, or pathology. Reading a short story by A. S. Byatt recently ('Art Work') the artist of the story has his need to paint described as follows:
"He does it out of a stubborn faithfulness to a vision he had, a long time ago now, a vision which has never expanded or diminished or taken its teeth out of him."
I wonder if anyone has a sense of this early-onset commitment to something that dominates, even arrests, your development? Is your art practice wholly healthy? Has something got its teeth in you?
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  #2  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:01 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

When I was a child, long before the hormones of adolescence began their domination, I can remember being fascinated with woman's beauty. And a little later with beautiful automobiles and buildings. Shape and form has been my preoccupation always. It's painful sometimes to see many of the things we make; most of them so lack proportion. I would say that is what rules my work: beauty and proportion—always shape, form, and line. And yes, you could call it an obsession.

Richard
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  #3  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:04 PM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

I do it because I am able to create things that I consider beautiful and are inspiring to me and seemingly others as well.

In reference to Kilkenny's post, I see no reason to get involved in psychosis or other distracting mental or emotional states about this. I enjoy creating. I don't need some kind of psychological subplot going to make it more interesting than it already is!
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  #4  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:39 PM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

I do it for the thrills, chills and spills. I'm sure to keep the relationship with my creative impulse antagonistic and dysfunctional. A mutual provoking assures that things are being encountered at excessive intensities (intellectual and physical). The experience varies wildly each time. Clouseau and Kato...maybe.

It is quite inside of everyone; as the thing that defines an individuals being. Other stuff that we execute, even clever stuff, is purely animalistic.

Psychotherapy? NEVER! I'm not crazy....everyone else is.
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  #5  
Old 06-28-2011, 11:04 PM
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jOe~ jOe~ is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

Quote:
I wonder if anyone has a sense of this early-onset commitment to something that dominates, even arrests, your development?
Quote:
Is your art practice wholly healthy?
Dominates--you mean an interest that you're insecure about? "ARRESTS"--by whose standard? "WHOLLY HEALTHY"--who is judging? Both assume some sort of social arbitrator of what a person should be doing. What the Brits might call "proper" behavior. Its the inner critic blabbing his fool mouth off --internalized and actual pressure to conform.

Quote:
Has something got its teeth in you?
Yeah...and its smacking its lips!!!
I think about this stuff too. Its freeing. You've only got one short life which gets shorter at an accelerating rate. A cranial or cardiac Super Nova could happen any time. Fuck 'em I sez--gotta 'av me fun...now.
Quote:
I'm not crazy....everyone else is.
Ain't that the truth.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2011, 12:17 AM
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jOe~ jOe~ is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

Just ran across this:
"Great art is as irrational as great music. It is mad with its own loveliness."

Nathan on Irrationality
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2011, 11:06 AM
KatyL KatyL is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

People regard those who are obsessed with building the perfect race car, or designing the fastest sail boat, or building a beautiful house that seems to float over rocks as having healthy obsessions. I certainly do not see being fixated on building the perfect (fill in the blank) is unhealthy.

Many people figure that if it is not useful to the society at large, you do not work for GM or NASA, or you are not making loads of money then you are "psycho."

So many people who claimed to have my best interests at heart have tried to divert me from my art. They have advised me to get a normal job. Make money. Get married and raise kids. Any thing seems to make more sense to them. Strangely, when I walk in with a payday, it is suddenly okay to spend endless hours in the basement.

Jobs come and go. Friends come and go. Family members die.
Art, and the creation of art is the one stable factor in my life. It is not "just something I do, it is inseparable from myself.

Enough of the emotional garbage.

It is also about money. Making and selling things. I am the entire chain of creation, and I have total dictatorial control. If I mess up, it is my fault. That's fun. It gives me a thrill. Getting my work to the gallery is like a huge Olympic decathlon. It is like a sport. When you sell something, there is exhilaration, when you don't it is a crushing blow.
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  #8  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:31 PM
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Re: Why do you do it?

KatyL:"It is also about money. Making and selling things. I am the entire chain of creation, and I have total dictatorial control. If I mess up, it is my fault. That's fun. It gives me a thrill. Getting my work to the gallery is like a huge Olympic decathlon. It is like a sport. When you sell something, there is exhilaration, when you don't it is a crushing blow."

Hi KatyL---That's been my experience for the last twenty five years! (except for the "crushing blow"--you always have to allow for the public's lack of 'good judgement and taste'.)
Well said!
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2011, 10:08 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

I do it because I MUST!
The creative ideas, sometimes idiotic, sometimes sublimely wonderful, tumble out of my brain constantly.
I can't make them all, which is a shame but I can make some of them and I have to.
I don't have a choice and nothing is more fun than spending the day in your studio making stuff.
Have a wonderful day,
Jeff
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2011, 04:37 PM
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underfoot underfoot is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

Yep..what Jeff said.
and after all these years I'm probably not qualified for anything else.
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2011, 05:31 PM
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Lynda Lynda is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

I do it because I CAN and because it's FUN and because it makes both me and other people HAPPY and because it's a joy to see something emerge out of nothing! It's also fun to make money doing what I love.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2011, 11:48 PM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

Anyone CAN make art and if you're doing it to make OTHER people happy, you don't get it!
Jeff
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  #13  
Old 07-08-2011, 10:03 AM
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Re: Why do you do it?

Well it's too easy to attribute it to some pathology or mere psychological happenstance, but,.. I suspect that I do it because the people I admire most do it. Every sculptor is my hero, even the one's I don't agree with or like much and I've always wanted to do what they do and experience what they've experienced and then take it up a notch in my own weird little direction.
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  #14  
Old 07-08-2011, 12:18 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

yeah, something has its teeth in the fleshy bits.
from the time in grade school when they gave us clay to make sculpture, what a thrill that gave me. Despite the lukewarm response the result got then and now...
Where words fail to express, perhaps the sculpture at least gives a visual that is not expected to make sense all the time. Instead, together they build their own universe where, perhaps, the sculpture only makes sense in that context. Does that make it any less valid? It is not fantasy, but a different phrasing.
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  #15  
Old 07-19-2011, 07:29 AM
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Kilkenny Kilkenny is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

Thanks for all these thoughts.

A final thought: I spent a lot of time as a young child in love with things that separated me from ordinary everyday life, in part because of inspiring teachers (art and literature) and by, in retrospect, seeking a kind of transcendance through experiences and activities, rather than simply 'taking part', which, perhaps, occupies our childhoods. I loved the contemplative whilst my peers were loving activity.
Perhaps I was also lucky, in that I had a group of like-minded 'malcontents' who agreed on a kind of approach to life, even though we were then too young to understand it as such. It is this 'approach' that seems to have set in very early, and which has remained with me, through thick and thin. For me, it was looking at life through a kind of aesthetic prism. For them, too, I think.
As a result, I see something in the AS Byatt quotation (post 1) that speaks to me, and of course that is how literature often works - we find someone verbalising what we have felt ourselves and find that our personal experience is more common that we might have thought.
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  #16  
Old 09-25-2011, 11:02 PM
furby furby is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

I do it cos it keeps me sane and happy. I beleive every human needs to make things in order to be content, no matter what it is you make. I just happened to fall into the right material that i can use, to give me pleasure in the result of my work. I beleive also that there is a material for everyone that suits them, but you got to try a lot of stuff sometimes to find that.

When i stop making sculpture for a period of time i gradually become unhappy, eat too much, if i was a drinker i would drink more too i guess. Slowly though. Its hard to tell. But then when i start sculpting again, i realise.
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  #17  
Old 09-26-2011, 02:22 PM
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The Forge The Forge is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

After working for over 50 years of my life, I am doing what I promised myself that I would do at retirement, gone back to creating welded steel sculptures. A put-off passion of mine.
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  #18  
Old 10-12-2011, 11:26 PM
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GarryRicketson GarryRicketson is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

What I am doing now, as a stone carver, is mostly just a job, I cut and shape the kind of pieces, that the clients want, But I love working in stone,..plus I need a job that pays money, dependble., so I can do some of my art work, any chance I get,..The "artwork", be it drawing, painting, or something in stone, is becuase I feel good when I am doing it,..
When I was very young, and first started in school, I could not help it, instead of takeing notes, or trying make a letter, I found my self slipping into sort of a "dreamy" state of mind, and the next thing I knew, I am getting yelled at by the teacher, because I am drawing a pitchure, or "doodle"...and I tried so hard, not to do that, to be like they wanted me to be, but I still couldn't help it,..So I learned to hate school, and teachers, because they couldn't understand ,and kept asking me "What is wrong with you ?, well I certanly didn't know what was wrong wth me,..They were the "teachers" they were the ones that are supposed to know,..So any way I found I was much happier outside, in a park, or a library, drawing my pitchures, or, just enjoying the view, looking at the tress, the sky, the hills,..everything ...In the library, I discovered the "art books", they were my favorite, I could spend hours just looking at the pitchures, and in my heart, I knew, one day I could do that too!
The paintings, sculptures, drawings,..
For years I had a hard time keeping a job, because, whenever I had enough money,and bought some paints,canvas, etc,..I quit the job, and started "painting", until eventually, no more money, hunger, and the need for more material, drove me , to look for another job.
I usually worked as a construction labourer, mixing cement, on one job, I was mixing "structo-lite" for the plasterers, and I had some left over,. and didn't really have anything to do, so with the leftover structo lite, I made a head, it was kind of neat, I really enjoyed makeng it,...the owners of the house we were building really liked it, so they kept it,.. I enjoy clay too, but Stone, has become my favorite,..and I am glad I get paid for it, because it is like painting, I like it so much, I would just keep , planning, thinking,cutting and shapeing pieces,..what ever came into my head,.. If it sells after it is finished, thats great, but that dosen't matter,..I do it cause I can't help it.
from Garry
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Last edited by GarryRicketson : 10-12-2011 at 11:27 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2011, 01:28 AM
nonblanche nonblanche is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

“Wonder and love and great sorrow shook Schmendrick the Magician then, and came together inside him and filled him, filled him until he felt himself brimming and flowing with something that was none of these. He did not believe it, but it came to him anyway, as it had touched him twice before and left him more barren than he had been. This time, there was too much of it for him to hold; it spilled through his fingers and toes, welled up equally in his eyes and his hair and the hollows of his shoulders. There was too much to hold — too much ever to use; and still he found himself weeping with the pain of his impossible greed. He thought, or said, or sang, I did not know that I was so empty, to be so full.”
― Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

That's part of it.

Another part is that the philosophy of our household, and this farm, is to Do Stuff. If you Do Stuff, Things Will Happen. For my housemate, it's knives. For my other housemate, it's nursing, cooking, homeschooling; for me it's farming, gardening, writing, studying and acting on LHP philosophy, making what I need, used to be painting, and most recently finding the shapes trapped in stone.

I'm not trying to sound fluffy, this is a serious thing. But just because I'm serious about it doesn't mean it isn't a desperately needed form of play. (Might suggest to others the book "Finite and Infinite Games" - I'm sorry, I can't recall the author.)

Regards from Rancho Santaroga,

...Blanche
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2011, 06:43 AM
KatyL KatyL is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

(Might suggest to others the book "Finite and Infinite Games" - I'm sorry, I can't recall the author.)

The author is James Carse. Because of your recommendation, I downloaded an e-book version. It looks interesting.
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2011, 04:16 PM
nonblanche nonblanche is offline
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Re: Why do you do it?

Huh! Thanks. (Another good one is Waldo Thompson's "Paradox Games" but that one has more of a philosophical science and math bent.)

My copy is somewhere in rural Colorado with a martial arts mentor, I think. Didn't even think of the eBook possibility. Thanks again!
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